If you had to pick 3 words that, in combination, would change your life, it is unlikely you’d pick “No, not now.”
But, they would. Such is the power of delayed gratification. Say “No, not now” to unhealthy food and we gift ourselves better health in the future. Say “No, not now” to non essential time suckers and we gift ourselves productivity and happiness.
Why say “not now?” Because, we hate hearing “no.” Just delay it. Forever.
But, does this mean signing up for a life with no joy? Does everything good get perennially delayed?
Absolutely not. Once you start down the delayed gratification path, it takes a few months for the effects of your work to kick in. But, 6 months down the line, as you’re saying “No, not now” to a new beast, you’re probably experiencing the joys of good health thanks to your excellent exercise regime. Or, you’ve just finished celebrating your top notch performance at your half yearly performance review. And, what you’re doing now will be cause for celebration 6 or 8 months later. It is a beautiful virtuous cycle that encourages us to focus on what’s important for the long term.
The cycle is so beautiful that denial becomes a beautiful thing. Every time you find yourself in pain or denying yourself something, you know there’s something better in store later. The value of good stuff compounds over time.
“No, not now” – they don’t just make things better, they make life awesome.